Riders for Health proves to be a powerful tool in tackling Covid-19 across Africa

Threats posed by disease are not news to people across Africa. African nations fight a constant battle against dangerous contagious and infectious diseases from Lassa fever and TB to the Ebola virus.

Medicines, tests and facilities are rarely accessible to the most isolated communities as appropriate transport is overlooked. But they are not forgotten by Riders for Health who are dedicated to giving access to health care for the most vulnerable – using reliable, appropriate transport.

Riders for Health sample courier Anthony collecting samples at the rural Tubman Health Clinic, Grand Bassa, Liberia

According to World Health Organisation figures there have now been 5000 deaths and over 190,000 cases of COVID-19 recorded across the African continent. This is evidence that coronavirus is a growing threat to communities where health care systems are already weak and a population whose health is already fragile.

“People live in hard to reach areas. People are frightened. They don’t have  information and they don’t know how to protect themselves and their families. We need to deliver care and education to the remote communities.”

Che Jallow – Riders for Health, The Gambia

Steven, a sample courier in Grand Bassa, Liberia.

Our teams of motorcycle health workers are vital in helping prevent the spread of the disease. They are carrying out contact-tracing in remote COVID-19 hot-spots in Lesotho and in Lesotho and Nigeria are taking samples from test sites to laboratories for rapid diagnosis.

Across all our country programmes health workers are getting nurses, doctors, midwives and other front-line health workers out to the most rural communities on very challenging terrain.

Because of the support we provide these heath workers are prepared. They have motorcycles plus the necessary training and equipment, as well as PPE and sanitiser so they can safely provide remote communities with care and information about what they can do to protect their families and community.

Motorcycles are once again proving to be a essential in the fight disease across Africa. David Nabarro, World Health Organisation Special Envoy for COVID-19 recognises this saying:

Motorcycles play a vital role in enabling remote communities in Africa to defend themselves against COVID-19 and give them regular access to essential, community-based health services.

David Nabarro, World Health Organisation Special Envoy for COVID-19  – May 2020

It is only because of the reliable transport that we offer that governments in these poorer nations can deliver information, provide care and prevent the spread of disease to the 60% of Africans who live in remote communities.

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